When and why JNUSU President Sai Balaji wrote an open letter to PM Modi

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: July 8, 2019
“.., what about our mothers? Whatever educational policies he or his party has put in place, those have mostly cost the students and their families their livelihoods or education. If we are suspended it has a huge impact on our family as well,” says Balaji. "This is your New India, where the constitution, rule of law and justice are words only meant to be written in books and preserved through archaeology," Balaji writes in his letter 
Image result for JNUSU President SaiBalaji
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"My mother called after she got to know about the suspension and she sounded extremely upset, she asked me to go home and I said that's what the administration has planned anyway — they are sending me home. She got angry and she put the phone down. Then I called my father and he told me that she was worried, so I said that this is part and parcel of our lives but what can we do? When I thought about this later, I realised how ModiJi makes a big deal out of the events when he meets his mother, takes her blessing before he does something. So, what about our mothers? Whatever educational policies he or his party has put in place, those have mostly cost the students and their families their livelihoods or education. If we are suspended it has a huge impact on our family as well,"

Soon after, within days, after the Jawaharlal Nehru University's (JNU) Proctor's Office academically suspended the current and former Students' Union presidents, N SaiBalaji and GeetaKumari respectively, along with current Joint Secretary AmuthaJayadeep and numerous other students activists as they have proctorial inquiries pending against them, one of the suspended students,N SaiBalaji has penned down an open letter "filled with pain, anguish and disappointment" to Prime Minister NarendraModi. His letter states that the student community will keep fighting for truth and justice, seeking freedom from "Hindutva and corporate loot".

The studentshave said clearly, with documented allegations, that the suspension is a result of the fact that they stood up against the unfair policies of the administration. Balajieven added that they were not allowed to register for the semester and the reasons given were that they had been academically suspended by the Chief Proctor's Office. This letter is a response to these unfair practices combined and more, says Balaji.
"My mother called after she got to know about the suspension and she sounded extremely upset, she asked me to go home and I said that's what the administration has planned anyway — they are sending me home. She got angry and she put the phone down. Then I called my father and he told me that she was worried, so I said that this is part and parcel of our lives but what can we do? When I thought about this later, I realised how ModiJi makes a big deal out of the events when he meets his mother, takes her blessing before he does something. So, what about our mothers? Whatever educational policies he or his party has put in place, those have mostly cost the students and their families their livelihoods or education. If we are suspended it has a huge impact on our family as well," says Balaji.

"I am the only one in my family who has completed his graduation and is a PhD scholar, both my parents are only graduates. They wanted me and my brother to study as much as we want and they worked really hard to help us achieve our dreams. Now, when they saw this they were simply heartbroken. It's just not my family that is getting affected, there are thousands and lakhs of students and their families who face the same — some are not able to secure a seat at a top university because of unfair reservation, unable to pay the fees because of the massive fee hike, unable to get quality education due to lack of teachers. Thus it is the whole system that these people have destroyed," he adds.

The letter states that the ruling party, the RashtriyaSwayamsevakSangh (RSS) and its party workers has time and again celebrated the ethos and spirit of Manusmriti.

"ModiJi, the organisation you cherish to belong to — RSS — has time and again celebrated the ethos and spirit of Manusmriti. In 1949, through its official magazine RSS manifested its love for Manusmriti and its hate for Indian constitution where it called principles like equality and others not part of Indian culture. The antagonism towards our constitution from RSS and BJP has been evident through statements of yours MPs, Ministers, and party members, not to miss RSS stalwarts.

“It's not ironical that the first notice I got in March 2016 was for burning those texts of Manusmriti on International Women’s day which were completely anti-women and anti-Dalit. It is in this context, Rohith’s suspension and later his institutional murder have to be remembered. It was a message to students and people in general who resisted RSS’s Hindutva filled idea of India that you will be shown your place i.e. on the street, marginalised, along with all state propaganda against you," reads the open letter.

Balaji says that he was inspired by RohithVemula and that's why he does what he does now. "Rohith's mother, Radhika Ma, once told me that I shouldn't study at the university as they could throw me out or even get me killed as they did to her son. And she said then that she wouldn't send her younger son to study at a university at all. It is such a painful thing for a mother to say. These families, their pain is not justified, so that's why I thought I will write this letter because people need to read this even if the PM has a busy schedule and he might not," concludes the current JNUSU president.

The entire letter may read and viewed here